Some of the roughly $36,000 that now remains from a $200,000 appropriation of food and beverage tax proceeds could be distributed to other businesses on Friday at 3 p.m. That’s when the commissioners will resume their meeting. The Wednesday session was not adjourned.
President of the board of commissioners, Julie Thomas, said that the applications that might be considered by Friday had come in after a soft deadline.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners authorized a request to the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC ) of another $200,000 for COVID-19 business relief.
A bit after 1 p.m. on Friday, under 24 hours after the form was launched, five completed applications had been received for the loans, which have a limit of $50,000 per business. Another five dozen or so applications were in the works, according the Bloomington’s director of public engagement, Mary Catherine Carmichael.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Bloomington area local businesses can now seen on charts and graphs.
The pandemic has spiked the county’s initial unemployment claims to four times the number seen during the highest week of the 2008–2009 economic downturn. Even higher numbers could be recorded next week. Unemployment numbers are released on Tuesdays.
In addition to fresh unemployment figures, this Tuesday brought a first detailed look at Bloomington’s effort to use $2 million of food and beverage tax money, as well as other funds, to provide economic relief to businesses and workers .
Added together, Bloomington and Monroe County’s respective shares of unexpended food and beverage tax revenues, collected countywide since early 2018, stand at around $5.7 million.
In separate actions over the last week, Bloomington and Monroe County elected officials have taken steps towards appropriating $2.2 million of that money for relief of businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.